One of the most effective tacks to take as a debtor is to say, “yes, I may have had a debt with XYZ, but I don’t know who in the world you are. If you can send me written documentation that you either own this debt now or are authorized to collect it, then I’ll pay it.” Immediately follow that verbal request up with a letter (ALWAYS certified mail, return receipt requested) asking for the same documentation. If the collector can’t produce that record of ownership or authorization to collect, then they can’t collect the debt. Often times, the collection agency or debt buyer has actually legally purchased the debt for real money. But that transaction is part of a complicated and lengthy legal document that they have absolutely no desire to share with you and to which a standard floor collector has no access. It may be simply easier for the collector to move on to the next more compliant debtor.
I’m not sure in this environment that this strategy will stop many collectors or debt buyers but its worth a try as it flows perfectly into one major strategy of defending a junk debt buyer lawsuit (Midland, LVNV, Asset Acceptance, Unifund, etc) filed by a local collection lawfirm (Zarzaur & Schwartz, Nathan & Nathan, Nadler & Associates, etc) – make the debt buyer prove it owns the debt.
(The Debt Collection Lawyer Blog is a good resource from a former debt collection lawyer – we appreciate the good posts and information there).
Another resource for you is to join our Facebook Fan Page – Alabama Consumer Protection Attorneys where we share useful information about the same types of issues that we cover in this blog.